(ORDO NEWS) — The scientific community has long been interested in the number of moons that an asteroid can contain.
Interest was generated due to the discovery by scientists of a quadruple asteroid system. The object broke the previous record and sparked interest among scientists about the limit of moons for asteroids.
A group of scientists from Thailand tried to answer this question. As study leader Anthony Berdeu explained, a team of astronomers analyzed data from the SPHERE research center.
By the way, the research complex is designed to search for and study exoplanets. The scientific journal Astronomy & Astrophysics wrote more about the study.
During the study, scientists analyzed the already existing evidence of multi-moon asteroid systems, as well as the record holder.
Astronomers have come to the conclusion that theoretical asteroids can have an arbitrary number of moons in their systems. Scientists explained their conclusion by the nature of the formation of moons near cosmic bodies.
The head of the study said that moons can form in three cases. In the first one, during the passage of some object close to the asteroid system, the gravitational attraction of which “captured” the flying object.
The moon can be formed as a result of the strong rotation of an asteroid, from the surface of which stones can simply fly off. Also, scientists do not exclude the possibility of the formation of moons due to the collision of celestial bodies.
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